Amber Trillo / Flickr

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp supports a minimum wage hike. But he says the issue wasn’t ready for a vote on the House floor this year. The Democrat made his comments Friday in a rare meeting with the capitol press corps.

Proposal Would End Idaho Sales Tax on Groceries

Feb 28, 2014
Michael Pendergrass / Wikimedia Commons

An Idaho state senator and gubernatorial candidate has introduced a bill that would repeal the sales tax on groceries.

Republican State Senator Russ Fulcher says it’s time Idahoans were able to take advantage of the same savings that neighboring states like Washington, Oregon, and Montana have, by not having to pay sales tax on most grocery items.

2013: A Good Year For West Coast Log And Lumber Exports

Feb 24, 2014
Sean Mack / Wikimedia Commons

Lumber and log exports from the West Coast rose about 20 percent last year, with demand peaking in the fourth quarter.

Most of the West Coast logs shipped overseas are going to China, although Japan has upped its demand, as well. With limited forestlands of their own, these countries rely on the United States’ timber supply.

M.O. Stevens / Flickr

President Obama recently ordered a minimum wage increase for federal contractors. Now Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he may consider a similar executive order at the state level. The Democrat made his comments Friday after a meeting with the President at the White House where minimum wage was discussed.

Satya Nadella Named Microsoft CEO

Feb 4, 2014

It's official, Microsoft has a new CEO. The Redmond tech giant says that as of today Satya Nadella is the company's new chief executive.

Southeast Washington is getting an economic boost after two announcements were made on Wednesday that are expected to lead to new jobs in the region.

About 300 people will keep their jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

Federal securities regulators recently cleared the way for small, Kickerstarter-style campaigns for startups to sell shares. But many entrepreneurs view the federal process as too cumbersome. Now, Washington state lawmakers are contemplating a state-only version to help small businesses raise capital more easily. 

Socially-minded companies in Oregon have a new way to prove their commitment to the greater good.

 Washington Governor Jay Inslee says it’s time for a discussion on raising the state’s minimum wage - already the nation's highest.

The unemployment rate in Washington dropped a notch in November.

Oregon's unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than five years according to numbers released by the Oregon Employment Department Tuesday.

Northwest mental health experts are cautiously optimistic about a new federal grant program. But they call it a modest attempt to improve mental health care in rural areas.

The improving employment picture in the Northwest isn't good news if you teach at a community college.

Oregon's revenue outlook is basically flat, but that doesn't mean the economy is stagnant.

Washington state hit a 'soft patch' in hiring and is looking at slow overall growth. That news comes from two new data points on the Washington economy out Wednesday.

Across the nation, home values plummeted after the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2008. But that was not the case in some of the less populous counties in the Northwest.

The Washington Legislature is plowing ahead with a package of tax breaks and incentives to convince the Boeing Company to build its next big jet in Washington.

 Put away those goblins and ghosts and bust out the elves. In stores, the winter holidays are already here.

Oregon Economy Growing At Average Rate

Oct 7, 2013
Denise Mattox / Flickr

Oregon's economy is growing at its historic average rate according to a new report out of the University of Oregon. 

(This post was updated at 10 a.m.)

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

If you think kids are too young to worry about unemployment numbers, consider this: Some of our most popular young adult novels fairly shiver with economic anxiety. Take Veronica Roth's Divergent, this week's top New York Times Young Adult best-seller and a perennial on the list since its publication in 2011.

According to fresh numbers out Wednesday from the state employment department, the unemployment rate in Washington state edged up slightly in August to an even 7 percent as hiring slowed.

Slow and steady. That’s how Washington’s chief economic forecaster sums up the recovery in state revenues.

Yoram Bauman calls himself the world’s first and only stand up economist. He’s also advocating for a carbon tax in Washington State through an organization he founded called Carbon Washington. The tax would be modeled after the one British Columbia put into effect several years ago. Companies there pay a price per ton of CO2 that they emit.

Wall Street is casting a favorable eye on Washington now that the state has a new budget and the housing and job markets are showing signs of life. Two credit rating agencies Monday upgraded Washington’s credit outlook from “negative” to “stable.”

State Treasurer Jim McIntire says that change eases earlier concerns that Washington’s double-A plus bond rating is imperiled. "The outlook is really kind of an indication that if they were going to make any changes to the negative, that kind of threat to a downgrade has now been removed.”

Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

The unemployment rate held steady in Washington state in June. It stands at 6.8 percent, according to the monthly update released in Olympia Wednesday.

Oregon's economic outlook is looking brighter. That's according to state economists, who issued their quarterly revenue forecast Thursday. The news comes as lawmakers get ready to put together the state's next two-year spending plan.

The slow and steady improvement is still steady, just not quite as slow. The overall growth rate is still a bit behind past expansions, but state economist Mark McMullen says some of the factors holding back Oregon's economy are looking better, such as jobs and the housing market.